Born in Karya Tsugunne community of Bingi District in Maru LGA of Zamfara State, 35years old Mohammad Isah was a very successful and enviable motorcycle ‘okada’ rider who made a living from the popular business. His success earned him a lot of praise and goodwill among his family members and community at large.
Unfortunately, for Mohammed, the last three years was not a pleasant one as he fell ill with a disease that affected him so badly that he could no longer go about his daily business. As the days turned into months, his health condition deteriorated and Mohammed who was once able to carter for his immediate family, became dependent; begging for alms from family, friends, community members, and anyone who had something to give him to enable him survive. This sudden strange illness led him to seek for help from local medicine men, herbalists who tossed him about, proffering different herbal solutions; a trial and error which caused him a lot of money and produced no cure.
Having battled it for three years, frustrated and dejected Mohammed, resolved to hide himself in a distant community to avoid the stigma, discrimination and abuse he suffered from the community members who quickly attributed his misfortune to his sins. Fortunately, after a training organized by the Leprosy Mission Nigeria on Lymphatic Filariasis/Leprosy Identification and Referral, a member of his community who was trained as one of the community volunteers remembered Mohammed and reached out to him. Mohammed was then referred to an integrated facility where he was diagnosed with active leprosy and severe type 1 reaction; he has since been fully examined and placed on treatment along with anti- reaction drugs.
Today, Mohammed Isah is currently responding to treatment and has expressed his appreciation to The Leprosy Mission Nigeria for giving him a chance to survive and a reason to smile again. He is also glad that his business has diversified as he now hires his motor cycle as a means of income generation and no longer depends on his family members for survival.